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Robert, 16, flies high on his birthday
He might not be allowed to drive a car yet, but 16-year-old Robert Ellis spent his birthday flying solo at 1,000ft.
Robert, of Great Hinton, near Trowbridge, is following in the footsteps of father Paul, an investment banker who has been flying recreationally for 30 years.
After 10 hours of training Robert, a pupil at Dauntsey’s School in West Lavington, embarked on his first solo flight in a PA-28 Warrior light aircraft. He soared to 1,000ft in a journey which lasted about 10 minutes.
Robert said: “It is unbelievable to think that you can fly before you can drive a car.
“I had about 10 hours of training and then the weather was OK, so the instructor sent me solo.
“I have done a lot of flying with my dad before. I really enjoyed the experience.”
Mother Debbie Ellis, who watched from the ground, said: “I am exceptionally proud of him. Seeing him take off made for an overwhelming day.”
Robert added: “I feel like I’ve got freedom when I’m flying. We have seen one other guy who did it when he was 16, but he did it with 20 hours of training.”
He now aims get his licence by 17 and his ambition is to become a flying doctor.